Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Mail attacks BBC (cont.)

Another day, another feeble attack on the BBC by the Daily Mail.

This morning, this particular story was third on the Mail's website, suggesting that there are only two more important stories around.

Paul Revoir's BBC apologises after broadcast of wrong shipping forecast leaves listeners all at sea reveals:

the BBC is in hot water after it broadcast the wrong shipping forecast and ended up frightening the nautical community with force 11 winds that had already passed.

'Hot water'? So there was a Jan Moir-like flood of complaints? That's what the Mail implies:

Members of the public feared that sailors were put at risk by the reports of extreme whether when the information was wrong.

Except, shock, that's not quite accurate:

a member of the public complained to Radio 4's own complaints show Feedback about the error.

So not 'members' but 'member'. Hmm. And it quotes this single complainer:

'The entire transmission was a repeat from nearly 20 hours earlier. Was I the only sad person to spot it?'

Yes, apparently he was.

So did any ship get into trouble based on the old forecast? Did anything of note happen at all as a consequence? Errr, no. Because if the bad weather had already passed, and the seas were actually calmer than forecast then where is the danger or the chance of people being put 'at risk'?

It's total nonsense.

The only thing that does come out of all this is the way the BBC gave the Mail and other printed media a severe lesson is fessing up:

David Anderson, Radio 4's presentation editor, said: 'What went wrong is that somebody made a mistake. It was human error and a pretty bad one I am afraid to admit.

'The late night announcer at the end of the shift pulled out an email of what she thought was the right shipping forecast and read it out completely unaware it was the wrong forecast.

'All I can say is that I am most terribly sorry we got that wrong this was a big error on our part.'

Wouldn't it be refreshing for a newspaper to be so honest and forthright in admitting it had made a cock-up? In fact, has any national newspaper ever been that upfront and apologetic?

Of course, with all the bad weather last weekend - in Cumbria and other places - it seems a particularly unfortunate incident. Except, it didn't happen then. This forecast actually went out at 00:48 on Sunday 15 November - nine days ago. And yet the Mail thinks this is the third most important story of the morning?

As with yesterday's nonsense about trees, there are several comments from people attacking the Mail:

BBC makes administrative error and apologises. Is this today's anti-BBC story then? Worse than yesterday. If The Wail apologised for every lie, administrative error, grammatical error and misrepresented story it'd need a daily apology supplement...
- Tom, MKUK, 24/11/2009 10:47

is this just another pointless (and getting rather tedious and predictable) Daily Mail dig at the BBC?
- Derek, Ashford, Kent, 24/11/2009 7:59

And Tom's point about grammatical errors is a good one because in the article we get this:

which includes 'whether' instead of 'weather' and 'preceded' instead of 'proceeded'.

We wait to see what anti-BBC non-story the Mail serves up tomorrow...

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